The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has urged the Federal Government to ensure the return of standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to the seaport.
The group wants SON back instead of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administrative Control (NAFDAC) that was recently returned to the port.
Dr. Boniface Aniebonam reacting to the spate of substandard items imported into the country told newsmen on Friday in Lagos that SON should be actively involved in the import inspection of goods and quality assessment at the ports.
Aniebonam, who spoke on behalf of the association, said the return of SON will help to identify substandard products in the market that are injurious to the public.
He said that the importance of this exercise is enormous, considering the economic, health and safety implications of the public.
“On weather SON should return to the port? I would say the presence of SON in the port is needed more than the presence of NAFDAC that are presently dominant at the port.
“So, we are calling on the Federal Government to ensure that SON returns to the port; as we are aware of the harm substandard goods cause to the economy and safety of the people.
“Our stand is that SON should be dominant in the port, while other agencies like NAFDAC should be called upon whenever their services are needed” he said.
Newsmen report that the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) had asked the officials of SON to vacate the seaports or risk being arrested.
The NPA directive said was in line with a new order issued to the agency by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
Aniebonam, however charged the Nigerian Shippers Council to prosecute shipping companies who refused to comply with the directive on return of container deposit to importers.